Friday, July 4, 2014

Roselit Bone - Blacken & Curl (2014)

Fourth of July is here and it's time to blow shit up and cook dead things as we celebrate the surprisingly esoteric concept of "freedom". Some of us may actually feel some patriotism today, or  even bother reflecting on everything that lead to the current state of things. But most will use the day off as an excuse to drink themselves into a stupor under the guise of national pride, letting the troubles of yesterday drown in the swimming pool while tomorrow perpetually worries about itself.

My own pessimism over the topic reinforces my love for the gothic americana of Portland band, Roselit Bone. Singer/songwriter Joshua McCaslin paints bleak imagery of a world that is dry and desolate on opening track "Slow Hot Death", where everything we thought would save us, in the end, didn't.

"Our idols will be melted down or crushed, as we pray to them to turn back the tide. Our hearts will fall like rocks into the dust, when we learn that they were never on our side."

This is a repeated theme in Black & Curl, where idolatries of religion and love are painted as uncertain crutches. The music has range on the country spectrum, much more now that the group features a several new members. This is a departure from Roselit Bone's previous configuration as a guitar and drum duo. Here the sound is lush and full, complete with a pedal steel player and horn section: an addition that lends a cinematic quality to a group that was already something quite special to witness live (see also their live record Live At Ella Street Social Club record).

I almost never gush over lyrics but those written by McCaslin are perfect for this style of music, he's like a rabid poet of the prairie. Everything is stronger about the music on this release... and even though I've said before I'll say it again here: this is the best band in Portland right now.

Roselit Bone - Black & Curl

1 comment:

  1. A really good band which deserves more attention!